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Trimming your Frenchie’s Nails

If you’re like most Frenchie owners, you tend to leave things like trimming their nails up to your groomer.

Trimming your Frenchie’s nails can be daunting and stressful…

It’s a lot more involved than just de-shedding their coat with a brush or wiping their folds.

But for some of us, we’d like to save some time & money and trim our Frenchie’s nails at home.

If you’ve decided that you want to be one of these people, you’re definitely going to need to learn how it’s done, gather the supplies you need, and learn the common mistakes people make so that you don’t make them yourself.

If you trim their nails too aggressively, you might hurt them & cause bleeding!

Regular nail trimming is important…

  • For your sake— so your Frenchie doesn’t scratch you all the time
  • To prevent injuries— to prevent injuries from long nails getting caught on things
  • For your Frenchie’s sake— overgrown nails can also be painful for your Frenchie!
  • To protect your belongings— to protect your precious furniture from getting all scratched up

Read on to learn…

  • Tips— 5 tips to make trimming your Frenchie’s nails easier
  • Common mistakes— 5 common mistakes that you don’t want to make
  • How to trim your Frenchie’s nails— a step-by-step guide on how to cut your Frenchie’s nails
  • The supplies you’ll need— everything you’ll need to trim their nails at home
  • Signs of nail issues— the symptoms & treatments for common nail health issues

Tips for Trimming your Frenchie’s Nails

Whether it’s your first time trimming your Frenchie’s nails or you’re a grooming pro, I’m sure you’ll learn something from these tips.

5 Tips for Nail Trimming

  • Get the right tools— trimming your Frenchie’s nails is a bit stressful; having the wrong tools can make it even more stressful though; be prepared and get yourself some quality grooming tools
  • Let your dog get comfortable around the clippers— your Frenchie will probably be suspicious of the new
  • Trim their nails when they’re relaxed or tired— there’s no sense trying to trim their nails when they’re all amped up and highly energetic; just wait until they’re tired toward the end of the day or after you played or went for a long walk
  • Hold your dog securely— if your Frenchie is like mine, they’ll probably squirm everywhere when you try to do anything like trim their nails, put nose balm on their nose, etc.
  • Only trim a little bit— not is it important to trim only a little bit at a time so that you don’t cut the nails too short & hurt your Frenchie, it also takes less time and is easier for you!

Step-by-Step Guide to Trimming your Frenchie’s Nails

1. Get your supplies

You’re going to need a trimmer

Out of the 4 nail trimmer types, I’d recommend either a nail grinder or guillotine-style

Nail Grinder
Guillotine-Style
Plier-Style
Scissor-Style
4.5
4.3
4.6
4.7
Pros:
  • Multiple accesories
  • Rechargable battery
  • Easy to use with safety nail guard
Pros:
  • Sharp cutting edge
  • High quality & durable
  • Comfortable vinyl grip
Pros:
  • Professional-quality
  • Safety stop to reduce risk of injury
  • Double-bladed cutter for a clean cut
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Professional quality
$89.90
$10.44$9.95
$12.80
$6.99$4.89
Nail Grinder
4.5
Pros:
  • Multiple accesories
  • Rechargable battery
  • Easy to use with safety nail guard
$89.90
Guillotine-Style
4.3
Pros:
  • Sharp cutting edge
  • High quality & durable
  • Comfortable vinyl grip
$10.44$9.95
Plier-Style
4.6
Pros:
  • Professional-quality
  • Safety stop to reduce risk of injury
  • Double-bladed cutter for a clean cut
$12.80
Scissor-Style
4.7
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Professional quality
$6.99$4.89
02/28/2024 04:21 pm GMT

Pros & Cons of Each Trimmer

Trimmer TypeProsCons
Plier-styleAffordable & widely available
Work for most dogs & nail types
Higher risk of injury and can cause brittle nails to splinter
Scissor-styleHighly precise
Lower risk of splitting & crushing of nails
Requires a bit of hand strength
Not the best for small or medium sized dogs (like the Frenchie!)
Guillotine-styleEasier to use than plier or scissor-style
Recommended for small to medium dogs like the Frenchie
Can be hard to use on dark nails as it’s hard to see the “quick”
Nail grindersPrevent splintering
Provide a smoother nail finish
Noisy and create a lot of dust
Slower to use than traditional trimmers

And some Styptic Powder to Stop Bleeding in case of an Accident

Stops Bleeding
Styptic Powder
4.7
$11.49 $9.77 ($6.51 / Ounce)

This Styptic Powder is a fast and effective way to stop bleeding in dogs.

In addition to its quick and effective use for stopping bleeding from nail trimming, it can also be used to stop bleeding from minor cuts and scratches, providing peace of mind and ensuring the health and safety of your beloved pet.

Pros:
  • Easy to apply
  • Stops bleeding fast
  • Can be used for nails and minor cuts/scratches
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/28/2024 10:40 am GMT

You’ll also want a nail file to soften the nails

Dog Nail File
4.3
$8.49 $7.99

A nail file is an essential tool for pet owners to maintain their dog's overall health and well-being.

Regular use of this diamond file ensures smooth and healthy nails, reducing the risk of painful breaks and splits that can lead to infections.

It conforms to the nail shape, ensuring a safe and stress-free process for both you and your Frenchie.

Pros:
  • Leaves nails smooth & healthy
  • Conforms to the shape of the nail
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/28/2024 08:40 am GMT

2. Get your Frenchie comfy & relaxed

As we mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to trim your Frenchie’s nails when they’re calm & relaxed.

You can help them relax by…

  • Trimming their nails toward the end of the day
  • Feeding them some treats throughout the process
  • Taking them for a nice long walk or play fetch before trimming

3. Find the “quick”

Don’t just wing it! You need to know exactly where the “quick” is so that you don’t cut too much of their nail & cause bleeding.

Note: The “quick” is the part of their nail that has the nerves & blood vessels. Cutting it will cause pain & bleeding.

Important: The “quick” is the red part of the nail; avoid by trimming in the direction shown in the illustration

4. Hold their paw, position the trimmer, and cut the nail

Now that you know where the “quick” is, you can position the trimmer properly.

Next, you’ll…

  • Hold their paw firmly— keep it secure but not too tight
  • Position the clipper at a 45-degree angle to the nail— be sure to position the clipper so the cutting blade is facing away from their paw
  • Make the cut— make a quick & clean cut; if you are concerned about cutting the “quick”, you can make multiple small cuts

5. Check for bleeding and repeat for other nails

You might do your best to avoid cutting the “quick” but still manage to hit it.

Your Frenchie will probably let you know if you cut the “quick”— it can be painful.

But don’t worry… (be sure to apologize though!)

If there’s any bleeding, simply apply Styptic Powder to the nail and it should stop the bleeding in no time!

If everything is okay, you can move on and cut the other nails.

6. File rough edges

Using a nail file, file down any rough edges until they are smooth to the touch.

Dog Nail File
4.3
$8.49 $7.99

A nail file is an essential tool for pet owners to maintain their dog's overall health and well-being.

Regular use of this diamond file ensures smooth and healthy nails, reducing the risk of painful breaks and splits that can lead to infections.

It conforms to the nail shape, ensuring a safe and stress-free process for both you and your Frenchie.

Pros:
  • Leaves nails smooth & healthy
  • Conforms to the shape of the nail
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/28/2024 08:40 am GMT

Don’t skip this step!

While the majority of your work is done by this point, don’t be tempted to skip this step.

Even if the nails are only slightly rough, they can still snag on stuff like blankets, furniture, and other household objects, causing injury

5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

It’s one thing to just “wing it” when you’re doing something simple like giving them a bath— but making a mistake when trimming their nails can hurt your Frenchie!

1. Cutting the “quick”

One of the most common and important mistakes not to make is cutting the “quick”.

The “quick”?! What’s that…?

The “quick” is the part of a dog’s nail that contains blood vessels and nerves.

Cutting the “quick” can be very painful and cause bleeding.

Important: The “quick” is the red part of the nail; avoid by trimming in the direction shown in the illustration

How to avoid cutting the “quick”

You can avoid cutting the “quick” by only trimming a small amount at a time.

As you slowly cut your Frenchie’s nail shorter over a period of a few weeks, the “quick” will recede further back which will allow you to trim their nails shorter without hitting the “quick”.

Have Styptic powder on-hand in case you cut the quick

Styptic power can help stop the bleeding in case you cut the quick.

2. Not using the right tools

Trimming your Frenchie’s nails is one thing…

One stressful thing.

But it’s a whole ‘nother thing to try and trim their nails without the right high-quality tools.

There are a few types of trimmers

Nail Grinder
Guillotine-Style
Plier-Style
Scissor-Style
4.5
4.3
4.6
4.7
Pros:
  • Multiple accesories
  • Rechargable battery
  • Easy to use with safety nail guard
Pros:
  • Sharp cutting edge
  • High quality & durable
  • Comfortable vinyl grip
Pros:
  • Professional-quality
  • Safety stop to reduce risk of injury
  • Double-bladed cutter for a clean cut
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Professional quality
$89.90
$10.44$9.95
$12.80
$6.99$4.89
Nail Grinder
4.5
Pros:
  • Multiple accesories
  • Rechargable battery
  • Easy to use with safety nail guard
$89.90
Guillotine-Style
4.3
Pros:
  • Sharp cutting edge
  • High quality & durable
  • Comfortable vinyl grip
$10.44$9.95
Plier-Style
4.6
Pros:
  • Professional-quality
  • Safety stop to reduce risk of injury
  • Double-bladed cutter for a clean cut
$12.80
Scissor-Style
4.7
Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Professional quality
$6.99$4.89
02/28/2024 04:21 pm GMT

3. Not preparing your dog

Don’t just grab your Frenchie and start trimming their nails…

It’s gotta be the right place & the right time.

Don’t try trimming their nails

The best times to trim their nails are…

  • After playing
  • After a long walk
  • At the end of the day when they’re tired

You can also prepare your Frenchie for nail trimming in other ways such as getting them comfortable around the clippers and with their paws being handled. I suggest having treats on hand as well to reward them for good behavior.

Prepare your dog by…

  • Touching and holding their paws so they get used to it
  • Getting them used to the sound of the clippers or Dremel
  • Have enough treats to reward them for being good while you trim their nails

4. Rushing the process

Trimming your Frenchie’s nails is a process that requires a lot of patience and care— you don’t want to make any mistakes as they can be very painful for your dog.

Rushing the whole process will also stress them out even more, which will in turn make the whole thing even harder & more stressful for you.

If you’re going to be impatient, you might as well just bring your Frenchie to the groomer to have their nails trimmed.

5. Not filing their nails after trimming

Just like when we trim our nails, we usually want to file them to get rid of those jagged edges.

Well with your Frenchie, this step is even more important.

Why?

Well, if you don’t file their nails after trimming, they can easily get caught on things around the house which can cause injury to their nails and damage things around the house.

You can use a nail file to smooth down those rough edges.

One like this…

Dog Nail File
4.3
$8.49 $7.99

A nail file is an essential tool for pet owners to maintain their dog's overall health and well-being.

Regular use of this diamond file ensures smooth and healthy nails, reducing the risk of painful breaks and splits that can lead to infections.

It conforms to the nail shape, ensuring a safe and stress-free process for both you and your Frenchie.

Pros:
  • Leaves nails smooth & healthy
  • Conforms to the shape of the nail
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Chewy
02/28/2024 08:40 am GMT

Signs of Nail Health Problems

1. Overgrown Nails

Overgrown nails can be a common problem for dogs, especially those who are not active on hard surfaces or who do not have their nails trimmed regularly.

Overgrown nails can cause pain and difficulty walking or standing, and can also lead to other health problems.

Signs of Overgrown Nails

  • They lick their paws a lot
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Your dog looks like they’re tip-toeing
  • Their nails are scratching you constantly
  • Nails that are too long and may curl or touch the ground (they curl over the paw)

Treatment of Overgrown Nails

To prevent overgrown nails, it’s important to trim your dog’s nails regularly, or have a professional groomer or veterinarian trim them.

If the nails are severely overgrown, it may take several trimmings to get them to the proper length.

2. Broken or Cracked Nails

Dogs can break or crack their nails in a number of ways, such as catching the nail on something or hitting it against a hard surface.

Broken or cracked nails can be painful and may bleed, making it important to address the problem quickly.

Signs of Broken or Cracked Nails

  • Broken or cracked nails
  • Bleeding
  • Limping
  • Pain

Treatment of Broken or Cracked Nails

If the nail is bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding, clean the area, and apply a bandage.

If the nail is broken or cracked, it may need to be trimmed, and an antiseptic may need to be applied to prevent infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe pain medication if necessary.

3. Ingrown Nails

Ingrown nails occur when the nail grows into the paw pad, which can be painful and lead to infection if not treated.

Signs of Ingrown Nails

  • Nails that grow into the paw pad
  • Limping
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain

Treatment of Ingrown Nails

Your veterinarian may need to remove part of the nail and/or prescribe antibiotics if there is an infection.

4. Nail Infection

Nail infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses, and can be quite painful for your dog.

It’s important not to ignore nail infections as they can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.

Signs of Nail Infection

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Bad odor
  • Swelling
  • Discharge

Treatment of Nail Infection

Your veterinarian may need to prescribe antibiotics or other medications to treat the infection.

5. Fungal Infection

Fungal infections in the nails can be caused by a variety of organisms, such as yeast or mold.

Fungal infections can be difficult to treat and may require long-term medication.

Signs of Fungal Infection

  • Discoloration
  • Limping from pain
  • Pus coming from irritated nail area
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed
  • Excessive licking or chewing paw
  • Foul odor

Treatment of Fungal Infection

Your veterinarian may need to prescribe antifungal medication, and it may take several weeks to several months for the nail to grow back.